Mike Shannon

My dad sent me a text on Sunday as I was getting ready to play hockey.

Mike Shannon died today

At the moment it didn’t hit me that much. As the week has gone on, I’ve reflected on that text and the man, the voice, that was a huge part of my childhood.

Mike Shannon worked as a Cardinals broadcaster for 50 years, 1972-2021. I turned 51 last month. I grew up in St. Louis soaked in Cardinals baseball…Dizzy Dean, Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock to name a few. I knew Shannon was a key part of the 1964 and 1967 World Champion teams, but to me, he was an announcer working alongside the great Jack Buck on the radio and Jay Randolph on TV. He sounded like a regular guy, loved a frosty cold one, and made the game come alive.

The Cardinals were in the heydey of Whiteyball with Ozzie Smith, Willie McGee, and Tommy Herr, during my formative years as a young sports fan. They won the World Series in 1982 and won the National League pennant in 1985. I listened to and/or watched nearly every baseball game (that we weren’t at in person) during those years. I have the LP album reliving the 1982 season and the 1985 season recap VHS Heck of a Year. I wore them out revisiting those seasons.

On August 22, 1982 my mom, brother, and I sat baking in the centerfield sun (my dad watched from a suite) as the Cardinals and Giants played into the 12th inning. The Cardinals loaded the bases with two outs and David Green at the plate. Catching everyone by suprise backup catcher Glenn Brummer stole home to win the game. Mike Shannon called the play. I’ve heard that clip so many times now that my memory of the moment is voiced by Shannon calling the play.

In 1987, we left St. Louis for Houston. Over the years in Texas my Cardinals fandom has been superseded by the Rangers and Astros, but Shannon remained the voice of the Cardinals. As I moved on and St. Louis changed over the years, Mike Shannon remained.

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and it could be again. – Terence Mann in Field of Dreams.

Now Mike Shannon is gone.



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